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View Lotame’s TV Advertising Glossary Guide

In the fast changing market of today’s TV consumption, targeted TV advertising is becoming more popular.  As fast as these methods are growing however, it can be confusing to keep up with all of the current terms. To help cut through the jargon, Lotame has created a TV advertising Glossary for an easy-to-use guide to understanding all of the current TV advertising abbreviations that exist within today’s digital ecosystem.

Download a copy of the TV Advertising Glossary or scroll to view our glossary listing below:

Addressable TV The ability to deliver a commercial specific to a household during linear TV shows. This is currently administered ONLY by cable and satellite companies and ONLY in the 2 minutes per hour of inventory per channel that these companies sell. The commercials are inserted by the cable companies based on matches to their subscribers through blind-matches to PII. Because of this it is difficult for marketers to achieve scale in this area
Advanced TV Broad term used to describe any venture of a traditional media company to expand into new features or busines models. Examples would be intereactivity within television, second screen applications, new advertising models such as addressable, etc.
Broadcast TV Television that is delivered through the Network-to-Affiliate model such as ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox.
Connected TV Video delivered through internet streaming on large TVs. This can be done through an attached device (Roku) or Smart TVs
Daypart Window of time that is used to divide TV Programming into units of silmilar programming


Direct Response TV Direct response television (DRTV) is a form of direct response marketing that asks consumers to respond directly to the company — usually either by calling an 800 number or by visiting a web site.
DMA Designated Market Area. Geographical area that encompasses the broadcast signal TV stations in a metropolitan area.


DTH Direct to Home. A digital satellite service that provides television viewing services directly to subscribers through satellite transmission. Relies on a dish to provide satellite service to the home.
Guaranteed vs. Non-Guaranteed Buys The majority of TV buys are guaranteed and thus garner a higher CPM. When a TV buy is non-guaranteed it is usually because the buy is from a competitor or the campaign flight is too short. Deliver is not guaranteed in this instance because there isn’t time to make up and underdelivery.
GRP Gross Ratings Points. A standard measure in advertising that calculates the impact of TV advertising, calculated as a percent of the target market reached multiplied by the exposure frequency. For example, if you get advertise to 30% of the target market and give them 4 exposures, you would have 120 GRP.
Internet TV aka Online TV. Refers to the distribution of television content over the internet.
Linear TV Traditional television from your childhood – where the viewer has to watch a scheduled TV program at the particular time it’s offered, and on the particular channel it’s presented on.
Mobile TV Television watched on a mobile device.
Nielsen Ratings The traditional TV audience measurement system, which uses panels (samples) to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States.
OTT Over-the-top, which is TV that streams through the internet to a large HD/4k TV. This can be done directly through a SmartTV or through an additional device such as a Roku, Chromecast, AppleTV, Amazon Fire, etc.
Programmatic TV The use of technology to more efficiently allocate ad placements on television. This typically uses algorithms to evaluate the demand of ads against available supply to create private marketplace deals
Ratings meaning Ratings are expressed as a percentage and represent the number of individuals within a Universe who view a program at a given time. For example: if the P18-49 rating is 1.0, 1% of the P18-49 universe watched that program.
Scatter Scattering refers to a specific strategy that TV networks use to sell commercial airtime to advertisers and ad agencies, in which time slots are sold on a piece-by-piece basis at random times.
Set-top box A box-shaped device that converts a digital television signal to analog for viewing on a conventional TV, or that enables cable or satellite television to be viewed.
TRP Television Ratings Points, also known as Target Audience GRPs. TRPs are a tool provided to judge which TV programs are viewed the most, offering an index of the choice of the people and also the popularity of a particular channel.
Universe Estimates The estimated reach of households or individuals. Can be broken out by demographic. Important when calculating ratings.
Upfronts The method in which the majority of commercial airtime is purchased and sold. Referred to as “upfronts” in the industry, these transactions secure long-term commitments for high-value time slots during the most popular programs. The Upfronts are also an annual event during which the television executives show advertisers their planned programming for the upcoming television season.
VOD Video on demand. VOD is a feature of digital cable that allows you to rent movies and programs from your home. You can Pause, Fast-forward or Rewind programs as you wish.
Web TV Original television content produced for broadcast via the internet.

Download the TV Advertising Glossary.

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